By Pablo Di Maria
Be on the look out for the interview I did with former three-time California state champion and four-time finalist, Alex Cisneros. The entire wrestling fan base will find out what future plans Alex has for wrestling next season, his life, and personal goals. Only here, the home for wrestling news in the state of California – The California Wrestler!
USA WRESTLING SENIOR MEN’S FREESTYLE RANKINGS – APRIL 2015
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
1. Tony Ramos, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
2. Matt McDonough, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
3. Tyler Graff, Dublin, Ohio (New York AC)
4. Joe Colon, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
5. Angel Escobedo, Ames, Iowa (New York AC)
6. Dan Mitcheff, Cornwall, N.Y. (New York AC)
7. Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
8. Andrew Hochstrasser, Boise, Idaho (Titan Mercury WC)
9. Brandon Precin, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
10. Nick Simmons, Bloomington, Ill. (Sunkist Kids)
11. Frank Perrelli, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
12. Nico Megaludis, Murrysville, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
61 kg/134 lbs.
1. Coleman Scott, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids)
2. Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
3. Joey McKenna, Towaco, N.J. (Lehigh Valley AC)
4. B.J. Futrell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Titan Mercury WC)
5. Cody Brewer, Kansas City, Mo.
6. Kyle Hutter, Virginia Beach, Va. (Titan Mercury WC)
7. Connor Beebe, Western Springs, Ill. (Beebe Trained)
8. Kyle Jahn, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bristol Gladiators)
9. Cory Clark, Pleasant Hill, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
10. Alan Waters, Kansas City, Mo. (Sunkist Kids/Missouri RTC)
65 kg/143 lbs.
1. Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (NYAC/Hawkeye WC)
2. Jordan Oliver, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
3. Aaron Pico, Whittier, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
4. Frank Molinaro, South Plainfield, N.J. (Nittany Lion WC)
5. Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
6. Logan Stieber, Monroeville, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
7. Jason Chamberlain, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)
8. Kellen Russell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
9. Zain Retherford, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
10. Chase Pami, Champaign, Ill. (Sunkist Kids)
70 kg/154 lbs.
1. Nick Marable, Morgantown, W.Va. (Sunkist Kids)
2. Dustin Schlatter, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
3. James Green, Willingboro, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)
4. Kyle Ruschell, Madison, Wis. (New York AC)
5. Jason Welch, Evanston, Ill. (Chicago RTC/Wrestling Prep)
6. Adam Hall, New York, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC)
7. Moza Fay, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
8. Kevin LeValley, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
9. Cyler Sanderson, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
10. Derek St. John, Fargo, N.D. (Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg/163 lbs.
1. Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska RTC)
2. David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
3. Andrew Howe, Norman, Okla. (New York AC)
4. Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC)
5. Alex Dieringer, Port Washington, Wis. (Cowboy WC)
6. Colt Sponseller, Edinboro, Pa. (New York AC)
7. Ian Miller, Oak Harbor, Ohio (Golden Pride WC)
8. Tyler Caldwell, Stillwater, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
9. Quinton Godley, Raleigh, N.C. (Wolfpack WC)
10. Mark Hall, Bloomington, Minn.
11. Dan Vallimont, Long Beach, N.Y. (Blue & Gold WC)
86 kg/189 lbs.
1. Ed Ruth, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
2. Keith Gavin, Charlottesville, Va. (Titan Mercury WC)
3. Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Cowboy WC)
4. Chris Perry, Stillwater, Okla. (Cowboy WC)
5. Richard Perry, Washington, D.C. (New York AC)
6. Deron Winn, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
7. Phillip Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
8. Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
9. Jon Reader, Brookings, S.D. (Sunkist Kids)
10. Austin Trotman, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC)
97 kg/213 lbs.
1. Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
2. Cayle Byers, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
3. Dustin Kilgore, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/OTC)
4. J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
5. Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC)
6. Micah Burak, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
7. Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Ohio RTC)
8. Enock Francois, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC)
9. Matt Gibson, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
10. David Zabriskie, Northampton, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
125 kg/275 lbs.
1. Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids WC/Ohio RTC)
2. Zach Rey, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
3. Tyrell Fortune, Portland, Ore. (Titan Mercury WC)
4. Nick Gwiazdowski, Delanson, N.Y. (Wolfpack WC)
5. Dom Bradley, Morgantown, W.Va. (Sunkist Kids)
6. Tony Nelson, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
7. Matthew Meuleners, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)
8. Eric Thompson, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
9. Kyle Massey, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC)
10. Jarod Trice, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
USA WRESTLING SENIOR GRECO-ROMAN RANKINGS – APRIL 2015
59 kg/130 lbs.
1. Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
2. Ryan Mango, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
3. Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Minnesota Storm)
4. Jermaine Hodge, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
5. Max Nowry, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
6. Nikko Triggas, Moraga, Calif. (NYAC)
7. Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (Badger WC)
8. Nate Engel, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
9. Sammy Jones, Folsom, La. (USOTS)
10. William Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1. Bryce Saddoris, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
2. Ravaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb. (NYAC)
3. Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
4. Brian Graham, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
5. Alejandro Sancho, Miami, Fla. (NYAC/USOTS)
6. Jamel Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
7. Marco Lara, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
8. Devin Scott, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
9. Kade Moss, South Jordan, Utah (Nittany Lion WC)
10. Nick Alvarez, Miami, Fla. (USOTS)
71 kg/156.5 lbs.
1. Justin Lester, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
2. Kendrick Sanders, Homestead, Fla. (NYAC/USOTS)
3. Michael Hooker, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
4. Bo Beckman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC)
5. Patrick Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
6. Dillon Cowan, Harvard, Ill. (USOTS)
7. Alec Ortiz, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
8. Jon Jay Chavez, Boise, Idaho (Finger Lakes WC)
9. Santiago Martinez, Oviedo, Fla. (Florida Jets)
10. Christopher Gonzalez, Bolingbrook, Ill. (USOTS)
75 kg/165.35 lbs.
1. Andrew Bisek, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Minnesota Storm)
2. Geordan Speiller, Oviedo, Fla. (Florida Jets)
3. Jake Fisher, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
4. Dylan Reel, Washington, Ill. (Clackamas WC)
5. Johnny Stefanowicz, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
6. Tanner Andrews, North Aurora, Colo. (NYAC/USOTS)
7. Keith Barkers, Atlanta, Ga. (Unattached)
8. Taylor Doan, Wyoming, Del. (USOTS)
9. Corey Hope, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USOTC)
10. Stephen Gutka, Naperville, Ill. (U.S. Marines)
80 kg/176 lbs.
1. Ben Provisor, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC)
2. Josef Rau, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
3. Brock Gutches, Central Point, Ore. (USOTC)
4. Patrick Martinez, Hemet, Calif. (Florida Jets)
5. Cheney Haight, Orem, Utah (USOTC)
6. Tarrence Williams, Portland, Ore. (Clackamas WC)
7. Terrence Zaleski, Jacksonville, N.C. (YES Wrestling)
8. Jake Waste, Apple Valley, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
9. Caleb Smith, Princeton, Ind. (Princeton WC)
10. Phillip Barreiro, Hogansburg, N.Y. (Team Impact)
85 kg/187 lbs.
1. Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
2. Jon Anderson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
3. Zac Nielsen, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
4. Mark Stenberg, Lockport, Ill. (NYAC)
5. Courtney Myers, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
6. Khymbakhy Johnson, Sacramento, Calif. (NYAC)
7. Joel Bauman, Kerkhoven, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
8. James Souza, Puyallup, Wash. (Navy)
9. Tim Stahl, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
10. Ethan Dondlinger, Slinger, Wis. (USOTS)
98 kg/216 lbs.
1. Caylor Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
2. John Wechter, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
3. Orry Elor, Walnut Creek, Calif. (NYAC)
4. Pete Gounaridis, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
5. Marcus Finau, Ewa Beach, Haw. (NYAC)
6. Daren Burns, Boone, N.C. (App State RTC)
7. Patrick Carey, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
8. Tyler Lehmann, Fargo, N.D. (Minnesota Storm)
9. Roy Nash, West Valley City, Utah (Ruiz Combat Grappling)
10. Kevin Beazley, Howell, Mich. (Virginia Beach RTC)
130 kg/286.6 lbs.
1. Robby Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC)
2. David Arendt Jr., Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
3. Jacob Mitchell, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USOTC)
4. Erik Nye, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
5. Toby Erickson, East Helena, Mont. (NYAC)
6. Jarod Trice, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury)
7. Parker Betts, St. Michael, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
8. Nikola Bogojevic, Superior, Wis. (Minnesota Storm)
9. Adam Coon, Fowlerville, Mich. (Cliff Keen WC)
10. Sam Stoll, Kasson, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
Chris DeLoza on the left with fellow wrestler Zander Silva from San Marino.
By Pablo DiMaria
Di Maria-Chris, at what age did you start wrestling?
Chris – I first started wrestling when I was 8 years old because my Dad wrestled in high school and enjoyed the sport. My dad felt that my younger brother and I had too much energy when we were younger, so he threw us into wrestling which we both fell in love with.
Di Maria -What is a typical practice at Clovis North?
Chris – A typical practice at Clovis North is fun because our squad is full of young guys who enjoy the fun and desire to be successful at it. But the practices are also hard because our coaches are always pushing us to work our hardest
Di Maria -With Austin Flores gone, will you be taking his place as the leader of the wrestling team?
Chris – I’m not sure if I will be taking his place as the team leader yet! It’s going to be whoever Coach Adams feels is best suited to be the new leader of the Broncos squad.
Di Maria -What does your diet during the season consist of?
Chris – My diet during season consist of lots of fruits, water, vegetables, fish, salad, and subway.
Di Maria – How do you balance Social Life, Wrestling, and School?
Chris – When I’m at wrestling practice all I think about is wrestling. I block out my thoughts about School, friends and just focus on my practices. The same goes for when I’m at school in my classes, I just focus on what I’m doing in the class room and try not to worry about my weight or how tired I am.
Di Maria -How tough is it to wrestle in the TRAC league?
Chris – It is pretty darn tough wrestling in the TRAC! Based on state rankings done by The California Wrestler, we see many TRAC wrestlers’ and teams in them. Also, at the end of the state tournament many Clovis, Clovis West, Buchan, Clovis North, Clovis East and Central wrestlers are standing on the medal stand.
Di Maria -What did you do last off-season to elevate your wrestling skills?
Chris – I wrestled everywhere and every time I had the opportunity to! Also traveling out of state to compete nationally helped me a great deal. I traveled to Florida for Cadet Duels, Iowa for USA folk style nationals and the tough Ironman tournament during the regular season.
Di Maria -Are you are planning on wrestling in college?
Chris – Yes, I plan on competing in college and try to become a National Champion in college.
Di Maria -If so, which schools are you currently leaning towards at the moment?
Chris – At the moment I’m leaning on the University of Missouri, Arizona State University and Oklahoma State University.
Di Maria – Who’s your favorite current college wrestler?
Chris – My favorite current college wrestler would have to be Zeke Moisey because he is so dangerous in all positions and exciting to watch.
Di Maria -Is wrestling your only sport?
Chris – Yes, my only sport is wrestling. I feel if I want to be the best and accomplish my goals I have for wrestling, then all my energy and time needs to go into the sport.
Di Maria -What’s playing in your iPod before a wrestling match?
Chris – Before I wrestle a match I’m usually listening to Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider because it just gets me in the zone and gets my mojo going. But I also like to listen to rap when I warm up as well.
Di Maria -Will you be wrestling in Fargo during the summer?
Chris – Yes, I will be competing in Fargo this summer because it is one of the toughest tournaments in the country! I became an All-American in 2013 and I was only shy of becoming an All-American for the second time last year by a point. I desire to return to California as the National Champion and get me another “Stop” signal.
Di Maria -What are your Goals for Next Season?
Chris – My goals for next year are to place at Super 32, Ironman, win Doc B, and the ultimate goal is to win a State and National Title.
Di Maria -Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?
Chris – I want to thank my parents for their support. My friends, teammates and all my workout partners that have helped me get better.
Alyssa LaFrancis – Rancho Buena Vista H.S. (SD)
By Pablo Di Maria
SENIOR OF THE YEAR – Alyssa LaFrancis – Rancho Buena Vista (SD)
*Since her initial season in high school wrestling, the University of The Cumberland’s signee, Alyssa LaFrancis, has dominated the competition in the Golden State with her great agility and technique. LaFrancis has become the second wrestler ever in the state of California to win four state high school titles and the first girls’ wrestler to accomplish such a feat. In addition, she has earned over 170 career victories with only six losses in her four-year high school career. The Longhorn Lady won CIF state titles at 170, 160, 165. and 154 pounds. Internationally, Alyssa has competed in 15 countries for Team USA and she’s a triplet-time Body Bar and a five-time Girls Folk Style National Champion.
Gabby Garcia -Valencia H.S. (SS)
JUNIOR OF THE YEAR – Gabby Garcia – Valencia High School (S)
Sometimes a loss is a gain for the future. The past two years prior to the 2015 season, Gaby Garcia had won the CIF California state tournament with little or no challenge from her competition. During the regular season, Gabby, was rated the top wrestler in the state up to the CIF state tournament. At the CIF Southern Section tournament, she was defeated by Maddy Tung from Santa Monica via a fall; the entire crowd at Roosevelt High School was in disbelief. Despite this setback, Gabby’s winning attitude helped her shake off the loss and beat Tung and in the state semifinals, 4-2. Garcia went on to win her third CIF California state tournament and put her a step closer to becoming the third ever four-time state champion in California next season.
Tania Sanchez from Rancho Buena Vista H.S. (SD)
SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR – Tania Sanchez – Rancho Buena Vista High School (SD)
A sophomore from the San Diego Section qualified for her second state tournament after winning the division tournament for the first time in her scholastic career. Last year, Sanchez finished second in the section tournament and went 0-2 in the state tournament. This year, it was a different story for Sanchez. Not only did she win the section tournament, she made the finals of the prestigious CIF California state tournament by pinning all three opponents she faced during the tournament. Unfortunately, Sanchez lost in the finals to the No. 1 seed, Jackie Quinones of Arroyo (S). Sanchez will be a strong contender to win the state tournament the next two years in her weight class if she continues being injury free.
Selma girls wrestlers Gracie Figueroa, left, and Alleida Martinez
CO-FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Alleida Martinez and Gracie Figueroa – Selma High School (C)
It was a tough choice to determine the freshman of the year award when teammates, Alleida Martinez & Gracie Figueroa, each accomplished the same feat by winning an individual CIF California state title with an overall record of 33-0. Martinez started things off for the Bears by edging Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo, 2-0 at 101 pounds. She completed her freshman season with a 30-0 record. Meanwhile, Figueroa beat defending champion Lauren Mason of Woodreek-Roseville. 10-3 at 111 pounds and also finished the year with a 33-0 record. Martinez & Figueroa are in position to become the #3 and #4 wrestlers to win four state titles in 2018, pending Gabby Garcia becomes the second CIF women’s four-time state champion next year.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus With The Poway Wrestling Team
By Pablo Di Maria
Mayor Steve Vaus and the Poway City Council recognize Poway High Wresting for their CIF California State runner-up placing, Tuesday evening. Poway High School finished as the state runner-ups for the sixth time in their illustrious wrestling history. The Titans have finished second in the state tournament in 1992, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2013, and 2015.
Colt Doyle (160) and Ralphy Tovar at 145 pounds, became the 14th and 15th wrestlers to win an individual state tournament for the Titans and Coach Wayne Branstetter. Doyle also became the fourth Poway wrestler to repeat as a state champion.
Nine of Poway’s 13 state qualifiers finished with a state medal (top-eight finish), and the Titans finished second in the team standings, accumulating 189.5 points. Clovis won its fifth consecutive team title with 276.5 points.
“It was outstanding; that’s as good as we can wrestle,” Titans Coach Wayne Branstetter stated “They wrestled like gladiators all year long.”
Poway’s medalists were junior Chris Bailey, fourth at 195 pounds; senior Liam Sorahan, fifth at 220; senior Manny Lair, fifth at 132; senior Andrew Tausch, sixth at 182; sophomore D.J. Garcia, seventh at 138; freshman Chase Zollman, eighth at 106; and junior Brandon Kier, eighth at 120.
Congratulations to Poway High School and staff for their great wrestling accomplishments season after season.
Anthony Valencia – St. John Bosco (SS)
Zahid Valencia – St. John Bosco (SS)
By TCW Staff Members – Al Fontes, Bill Grant, Michael Cho, Michael Wright, and Pablo Di Maria
CO-WRESTLERS OF THE YEAR – Anthony and Zahid Valencia of St. John Bosco High School (S)
Since their freshman season in high school, the Valencia brothers, Anthony & Zahid, each have had great success on the mat, both in the state of California and throughout the country. With only one loss each at four CIF State Championships (3x State Champions/4x medalist), the Valencia’s have been compared to some of the great wrestling families in the Golden State, which include, Dave & Mark Schultz, Tirapelle brothers (Adam, Alex, and Troy), Abas brothers (Gerry, Stephen, and Norman), Blanco brothers (Luis & Carlos), Nevills brothers (Zach, Nick, A.J., and Seth), Cuesta brothers (Dan & Adam), Lawson brothers (Steve, Howard & Scott), Kistler brothers (Jackson, Lindley, Harlan, and Marty), the Palomino family (Anthony, Jacob, Rick, Sr., Ricky, Jr, and Isaiah), and many more that have graced the mats of the state tournament.
The Valencia brothers began their respective high school careers wrestling in the lower weight groups and ended in the upper weights, dominating a large percentage of the opponents that they faced, especially during their junior and senior seasons. Their keen awareness on the mat has made them the top wrestlers in California and the country. Both Anthony & Zahid will continue their collegiate career at Arizona State University (PAC-12 Conference).
When wrestling in the international styles, Anthony & Zahid will represent the Sunkist Wrestling Club, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
D.J. Lloren Jr. from Buchanan (CS)
JUNIOR OF THE YEAR – Durbin Lloren, Jr. – Buchanan High School (CS)
Being the son of former California state champion, Durbin Lloren, Sr. (Tracy HS/Fresno State), Durbin, Jr. knew that he had a target on his back entering the high school level. During his first two seasons at Buchanan High School, D.J. (As he is commonly known) placed 5th twice at state tournament respectively (106s & 113s) and earned All-American honors at the FLO Nationals. As a result, D.J. desired a great deal to win the California state tournament just like his father did in 1983 wrestling for Tracy High School in the Sac-Joaquin Section. His dream came to a reality as D.J. finished his junior year with a 48-1 record and an individual state title at 120 pounds. His lone defeat of the season was in the finals of the Doc Buchanan Tournament to two-time California state champion, Israel Saavedra of Modesto HS. Capping off the season with an All-American honor at the USAW Folkstyle Nationals (3rd), D.J has a chance to outdo his father and win a second state title next season for the Bears.
An interesting fact about D.J. is the fact he defeated five of the eight state placers in the 120-pound weight class during the year.
D.J. is currently unsigned but has had many offers from some of the top college programs in the country.
Justin Mejia from Clovis (CS)
SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR – Justin Mejia – Clovis High School (CS)
Winning an individual state title in the state of California is a hard task for any wrestler. Now imagine winning two straight titles and only losing once in your first two seasons of high school wrestling? That’s exactly what Clovis High junior Justin Mejia has done thus far in his high school career. A special note, Mejia became the second Clovis wrestler to have won a California state titles as a freshman; the first one is current Penn State wrestler, Nick Nevills.
As a result of his discipline and hard work on the mat, Justin helped the Cougar’s win their fifth straight California team title. His major accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed as the University of Iowa offered him a scholarship to compete for the Hawkeyes once he completes his high school career.
Justin is a two-time TRAC League, Yosemite division, Central Section, and Doc Buchanan champion. Currently, he’s on course to become the second ever four-time California state champion in 2017.
Seth Nevills – Clovis HS (CS)
Cade Olivas – St. John Bosco HS (SS)
CO-FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Cade Olivas – St. John Bosco (SS) and Seth Nevills – Clovis HS (CS)
California wrestling fans eagerly waited for both Cade Olivas and Seth Nevills to begin their high school careers. Even before stepping on a high school wrestling mat, Cade and Seth were making waves in the state of California, as well as across the country with their great wrestling skills.
As anticipated, Seth and Cade finished their freshman season with a state title and undefeated. Cade dominated the 106-pound weigh group, helping St. John Bosco place a respective 5th place in the state tournament; the highest finish by the Braves in their rich wrestling tradition. In addition to winning a state title, Cade also won the Five Counties Invitational, Doc Buchanan, and Walsh Ironman in Ohio, arguably the toughest high tournament in the nation.
Seth, following in the footsteps of his older brothers (Zach, Nick, and AJ), added another state title and medal to the Nevills’ family. The interesting thing about Seth winning a state title was that he won it at 220 pounds, a rare weight class for any freshman to win a state title. During the regular season, Seth won the Zinkin Classic, Doc Buchanan, and the Mission San Jose tournament.
Cade and Seth are each in position to become the third and fourth wrestlers to win four straight individual titles in 2018, if they continue their winning ways (pending Justin Mejia becomes the second).
Angel Velasquez of Pitman H.S. (SJ)
By Pablo Di Maria
Yesterday, two-time California medal winner, Angel Velasquez, announced via Twitter that he was planning on attending Northern Illinois University in the fall.
“I decided to attend Northern Illinois University because they are an up and coming program who is going in the right direction.” Said Angel “Coach Ryan Ludwing is doing big things for the Huskies.”
Winning an individual state title is a very difficult thing to accomplish in California with so many elite wrestlers. Many great wrestlers who went on to have outstanding college and international careers never won a state championship. Wrestlers like Stephen Neal, Jamil Kelly, Chad Mendes, Derek Moore, and many more never knew the feeling of being called a state champion.
“After placing fourth in the state for a second consecutive year, I thought my wrestling career was over. But after winning NHSCA and taking 4th at FloNationals, it helped with my confidence to wrestle in college. There was definitely a feeling of redemption, but not to a great extent.”
Like any other high school senior, Angel is ready to leave the city of Modesto and go explore new horizons for the next five years in college. His new home will be the city of DeKalb, in the northern region of Illinois. Angel plans on enrolling in the Northern Illinois School of Business, and study marketing.
“I’m looking to help build a solid legacy for northern Illinois. I’ll be wrestling at 133’s in college and I might bump up after a few years. We’ll see what happens.”
Northern Illinois finished seven in the Mid-American Conference and 67th in the National Tournament in the 2014-2015 season.
Angel after winning NHSCA Senior Nationals
Lorenzo De La Riva of Folsom H.S. (SJ)
By Pablo Di Maria
Today is National Letter of Intent Day for high school seniors in sports other than football, as athletes formally accept college scholarship offers. The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution. A prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters). In return, the institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters). Basic penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement: A student-athlete has to serve one year in residence (full-time, two semesters or three quarters) at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports.
Here’s a list of all the California wrestlers that will be furthering their education in college. Some will be continuing their college career after spending a year or two in the junior college level.
Air Force – Ricky Padilla (Northview H.S.) 157/165
Arizona State – Anthony Valencia (St. John Bosco H.S.) 174
Arizona State – Zahid Valencia (St. John Bosco H.S.) 184
Arizona State – Chance Eskam (Carlsbad H.S. 2014) 285
Army – Wyatt Wyckoff (Paradise H.S.) 149
Army – Nigel Ruiz (Bishop Amat H.S.) 157
Boise State – Adrian Salas (Clovis H.S. via Clackamas College) 184
Cal Poly – Josh Cortez (Temecula Valley H.S.) 141/149
Cal Poly – Andrew Morgan (Fountain Valley H.S.) 174/184
Cal State Bakersfield – Carlos Herrera (Bakersfield H.S.) 133/141
Cal State Bakersfield – Russell Rohlfing (Sonora H.S.) 125/133
Cal State Bakersfield – Jacob Thalin (Santa Teresa H.S.) 157/165
Cal State Bakersfield – Matt Penyacsek (Gilroy H.S.) 174/184
Cal State Bakersfield – Mark Penyacsek (Gilroy H.S.) 197
Cal State Bakersfield – Lorenzo De La Riva (Folsom H.S.) 165/174
Cal State Bakersfield – Dominick Balmer (Wood creek H.S.) 285
Columbia – Emmanuel Lair (Poway H.S.) 133/141
Drexel – Isaiah Hokit (Clovis H.S.) 149/157
Grand Canyon – Kenneth Moore (Hoover H.S.) 165/174
Grand Canyon – Ralph Tovar (Poway H.S.) 149
Iowa State – Joseph Dominguez (Northview H.S.) 149
North Dakota State – Nico Colunga (Oakdale H.S.) 133
Northern Illinois – Angel Velasquez (Pitman H.S.) 133
Northern Illinois – McCoy Kent (Enochs H.S.) 149/157
Stanford – Austin Flores (Clovis North H.S.) 197
Utah Valley University – Khristian Olivas (Clovis H.S.) 141
Utah Valley University – Richard Ybarra-Brandt (Liberty-Madera) 197
Austin Flores of Clovis North H.S. (CS)
Cal Baptist – Dominick Kincaid (Clovis H.S.) 174
Colorado Mesa – Eric Reyes (Yucaipa H.S.) 133
Colorado State Pueblo – Jordan Jimenez (Heritage H.S.) 141/149
Chadron State – Michael Colello (Temecula Valley H.S.) 197
Chadron State – Kai Dill (Buchanan H.S.) 285
Lindenwood – Robert Chism (Downey H.S. via Cerritos College) 285
San Francisco State – Mike Marshall (San Clemente H.S.) 174
Andrew Nelms from Porterville (CS)
Coastal Guard Academy – Zachary Ruybal (Del Oro H.S.) 141
Luther – David Padilla (Dinuba H.S.) 285
NYU – Kyle Paterson (Servite H.S.) 285
NYU – Michael Wong (Terra Linda H.S.) 141
NYU – Anthony Rubio (Newark Memorial H.S. via Chabot College) 149
Trinity – Enrique Loya (St. Margaret’s H.S.) 197
Enrique Salazar from Bloomington (SS) with his father, Rick.
Briar Cliff – Dominic Fratangelo (Palma H.S.) 149/157
Brewton-Parker – Camron Garmon (Marina H.S.) 165/174
Doane – Andrew Singer (Moorpark H.S. via Fresno City) 285
Doane – Josue Solis (Sanger H.S. via Fresno City) 157/165
Embry-Riddle – Dylan Passalacqua (MLK H.S.) 149
Graceland – Tyler Howell (Royal H.S.) 174
Lindenwood-Belleville – Michael Rangel (Buena Park H.S.) 125
Menlo – Andrew Nelms (Porterville H.S.) 125/133
Menlo – Stone Escobedo (Fountain Valley H.S.) 197
Midland – Abel Avila (Alhambra H.S. via Notre Dame College) 149
Midland – David Moran (Alhambra H.S. via Rio Hondo College) 149/157
Midland – Hugo Perez (Alhambra H.S. via East Los Angeles College) 125/133
Simpson -Enrique Salazar (Bloomington H.S.) 285
York College – Joseph Mata (Kingsburgh H.S.) 141/149
Andrew Morgan of Fountain Valley H.S. (SS)
Joseph Mata from Kingsburgh H.S. (CS)